Giants

Our fixation on legacies has latched onto Buster Posey and it needs to stop

Our fixation on legacies has latched onto Buster Posey and it needs to stop

It is almost disrespectful to raise the notion that Buster Posey’s career is winding down. Institutional players get a pass from such mundane analyses, and for the most part, they have that coming.

But he isn’t there yet, not because he has a bad hip. That’s not the sign of a career in decline. The sign of a career in decline is something more mundane, and more essentially nonsensical.

And that would be the inevitable punditocratic debate about whether Posey is a Hall of Famer.

And no, we are not having that here. That’s going to occur. Someone else can construct that particular torture chamber, because Buster Posey is not yet old enough or waning sufficiently in influence to have his legacy bandied about by amateurs.

I know you want to go there. I know you’re thinking about it, and you started thinking about it as soon as the Giants announced that he would miss the All-Star Game to get an injection. He is 32, he has lots of mileage on a catcher’s body, his numbers are declining and all that.

But once you cross the legacy threshold, you become an active participant in an athlete’s retirement. Legacy debates mean you are already thinking of an athlete in the past tense, and normally it is not their age but your sense of boredom that sparks such things.

Besides, legacy debates have helped ruin Tom Brady and LeBron James as conversation topics to the point where we are genuinely sick of them both even though we have no reason to be other than their essentially tedious excellence. They’re still playing, got it? They’re still alive, comprendo? When one of those two things stops being true, then you can go legacy on them.

But Posey has in all likelihood at least three years of service still to navigate, and unless he incurs an injury (say, to a hip) that becomes either chronic or catastrophic, he should be allowed those years.

This isn’t even about Posey anyway, if truth be told., It’s about our fixation on legacies. In no other business do we race so eagerly to get to the “is he done yet?” stage of a person’s career. In no other business does “What have you done for me lately?” transform so swiftly into “When can you stop doing it?”

Fact is, Buster Posey has plenty of time before his legacy needs to be discussed, and when it is discussed, the conversation will almost certainly be brief and laudatory. But I’m in no hurry, and you shouldn’t be either. If you need a legacy bone upon which to chew, go work on Carmelo Anthony. He’s about to lay waste to your second-least-favorite basketball team.

MLB free agency debate: Where will Nathan Eovaldi sign this offseason?

MLB free agency debate: Where will Nathan Eovaldi sign this offseason?

Editor's note: Each day this week, Giants insider Alex Pavlovic and A's reporter Ben Ross will debate where one of the top five free agents might land this offseason. Thursday's free agent to discuss is Nathan Eovaldi, a veteran right-hander with World Series heroics but just decent regular-season numbers.

ALEX: Ben, I'm fascinated by Nathan Eovaldi. He pulled a Yusmeiro Petit, except he did it while throwing 100 mph during a World Series game.

The Madison Bumgarner comparisons -- in terms of doing whatever it takes to help your team get to that final World Series win -- are there, too. In an age of guys babying their arms, it was so impressive to see a starter go out there and just let it all hang out even though he knew he'd hit free agency just a few days later. You hope that his arm is OK, and that someone will reward him for that effort.

BEN: I don’t think any free agent earned himself more money during the playoffs than Eovaldi did. He had a decent regular season (3.81 ERA and 1.13 WHIP), but his postseason was legendary. He earned $2 million in each of the last two seasons but now is looking at around $15 million per year.

I thought the A’s would have interest, but his postseason probably priced them out of contention. I have to think Boston is the front-runner to re-sign him. Where else could he land?

ALEX: I've got some thoughts, but first I want to go back to your team. Have they indicated what their price range is? I agree that Eovaldi probably is out at this point, but was he in range before the postseason? It's amazing what they did with castoffs last year, but they have to get a couple more dependable arms in that rotation at some point.

BEN: Agreed. Even Billy Beane acknowledged that last month. The A’s haven’t indicated a specific price range, but it's not their MO to spend big money on free agents, especially when a lot of their current roster will be getting pay raises next year. To me, Eovaldi would’ve been a realistic target at around $8 million per year, but he's not at $15 million.

ALEX: He could be a fit for the Giants, and he's certainly the type that Farhan Zaidi might have targeted in Los Angeles. But I think others will be more aggressive after Eovaldi's postseason. MLB Trade Rumors listed half the league, practically, as potential fits: Red Sox, Astros, Yankees, Rangers, Braves, Phillies, Nationals, Dodgers, Angels, Giants.

BEN: He has certainly become a hot commodity. I think the Yankees and Astros make a lot of sense, as do the Giants. But ultimately, I think he'll stay in Boston. The Red Sox know how valuable he was to their World Series. What’s your pick?

ALEX: I'm going off the board a bit, to a team that really needs some frontline starting pitching. The Angels -- for four years and $64 million -- are my pick for one of the stars of the postseason.

BEN: Interesting. The Angels definitely make sense with their lack of starting pitching. But I’ll say Eovaldi gets four years, $60 million from the Red Sox.

Editor's note: This week across the NBC Sports Regional Networks, we'll be taking an in-depth look at some of the top free agents in baseball. Thursday is dedicated to free agent pitcher Nathan Eovaldi.
Will the Phillies be in the Eovaldi mix?
How Eovaldi set himself up for big payday
How does Eovaldi fit the White Sox?

Farhan Zaidi says it's 'not absolutely necessary' for Giants to hire GM

Farhan Zaidi says it's 'not absolutely necessary' for Giants to hire GM

Farhan Zaidi knows what makes a great GM in Major League Baseball. He might not be looking at a mirror and asking, "Who in this land is fairest of all?" but it could be close. 

The Giants have their new man in charge with Zaidi as the president of baseball operations, yet as the hot stove heats up, the team still is without a GM. It doesn't sound like they're in a rush, either. 

"That process is on-going," Zaidi said Thursday morning on KNBR. "Obviously, it's tricky getting permission for top front-office talent. We're working on a number of fronts on that. And we want to make sure we find the right person. ... We're taking our time, we're vetting candidates, and again, the permission process isn't always straightforward." 

[PAVLOVIC: Will Giants take shot at Nathan Eovaldi, another risky starting pitcher?]

As the Giants take their time searching for the right candidate, the team might be without a GM for the near future and beyond. Though he's new to the organization, Zaidi is putting his trust in the structure of San Francisco's front office. 

"At the end of the day, it's a position obviously we'd really like fill," Zaidi said. "But there's a very competent, skilled front office in place. So, it's not absolutely necessary if we don't feel like have the right person."

[PAVLOVIC: Manny Machado doesn't fit with Giants even if they clear infield space]

Zaidi spent the past four seasons as Dodgers GM. The team won the NL West all four years and made the World Series twice. While it would be ideal having a pairing of Zaidi in the higher position with a GM working with him, he's the right man to handle duel duties for now.